In 2009, Robert Gary Parks converted a portion of his barn into what is now, Loafing Shed Glass Studio in Surrey, British Columbia. Luckily for us, Robert and his wife Jeanette are opening up their studio to the public September 30, October 1 & 2 for Culture Days Weekend! We asked Robert a couple questions about glassblowing, his artistic process and why he is involved with Culture Days this year. He came up with some amazing responses that illustrate the mission of Culture Days and the passion of our local arts communities.
Hi Gary, thanks for chatting with us. What about glassblowing is important to you and why is it important for you to open up your studio to the public for BC Culture Days?
Robert: Glassblowing is important to me because it is an ancient art form and craft; so glassblowing connects us all to our past history. It is important for me to have a studio that is open to the public especially for Culture Days, not simply to showcase my work, but to allow the public to come in, sit down and experience the progress of a craftsman making something from a blob of molten glass.
Robert: The province of B.C. is full of inspiration - usually stunning and accessible. Many aspects of the B.C. landscape and coastal areas are reflected in my work and the colours I use in the work itself. For example, my tide-pool paperweight series captures the images of what you may see on a beach or in the water.
What aspect of glassblowing are you most excited to share with the public during your BC Culture Days event?
Robert: I am always excited to have the public attend my glassblowing sessions, because glassblowing is such a visual art form. I love to pass on my knowledge and remove some of the mysteries and common misconceptions people have about glass making. The studio space is well set up to allow people to watch me and my apprentice, Jay Regetnig, create a variety of different works.
You can arrange a group tour of Robert’s studio and watch a glassblowing demonstration anytime during the year, but visit during Culture Days Weekend and you can experience Robert’s artistry for free by attending his his Culture Days Activity.
For more information on Robert Gary Parkes and his glassblowing studio visit his website here.
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